hks architekten: Erfurt heating plant - best architects 24

hks architekten

Erfurt heating plant

best architects 24

renovation and addition


Erfurt, Germany


Steven Neukirch


As a former heating plant, Heizwerk Erfurt is a defining element of the cityscape and is representative for the former industrial site and one of its last relics. The preservation of the historically valuable building and the continued use of its building fabric was made possible through the creation of a vibrant mix of cultural and event spaces, gastronomy, and modern workspaces. It thus becomes an attractive urban building block opposite the theatre of Erfurt. All in all, the building fabric is characterised by its special industrial character. In order to preserve the charm of the time-worn surfaces and salvaged materials, of the remnants of old technology and the solid support structures, an overriding guiding principle set the tone for the site’s redevelopment: «Old remains old – How little is enough?» Therefore, materials were mostly used in their pure form and historical relics were included in the concept. All this went hand in hand with the decision to concentrate on the essential. An extension supplements the grey energy of the building fabric with a light-flooded building joint that represents a caesura between new and old, a contrast that can be tangibly experienced in this unique space. As a side effect, the thermal envelope of the existing building is reduced. Another innovative approach was a reinterpretation of the industrial sawtooth roof in native spruce, set between the historical round gables.